CHICAGO, Ill. – James Madison redshirt senior defensive end Ron’Dell Carter has been voted one of three finalists for the 2019 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented annually to the national defensive player of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Carter, as well as by Nicholls defensive end Sully Laiche and Montana linebacker Dante Olson, make up the top-three vote getters.
The trio are invited to the STATS FCS Awards Banquet, which takes place on Friday, Jan. 10 in Frisco, Texas, on the eve of the national championship game.
Carter was named Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year after proving to be one of the nation’s best linemen. Through 13 starts, he has tallied 24.0 tackles for loss, which is tied for second in the FCS, and 10.5 sacks, which ranks in the top 15 nationally.
The Baltimore, Md., native has 56 total tackles, to go with one forced fumble and 11 quarterback hurries. The 2019 Bill Dudley Award finalist and Touchdown Club of Richmond Division I Defensive Lineman of the Year has produced at least 2.0 tackles for loss in seven games this season, including a career-high 6.0 at William & Mary. He also has at least 1.0 sack in eight games, which includes six of the past seven games.
Carter is JMU’s sixth top-three finalist for the Buchanan and vies to become the third Duke to win the award, which is now in its 25th year. Previous JMU winners include Derrick Lloyd (2001) and Arthur Moats (2009).
A national panel of 156 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries voted on the Buchanan Award following the regular season. Voters selected a top five on their ballot.
Additionally, senior defensive end John Daka, who was also a finalist, finished seventh in the voting, tallying 131 points and 11 first-place votes. It’s the first time in school history JMU has produced two top-10 finishers for the Buchanan.